Italian Cypress Trees
Often we need a tall but narrow tree for an area with restricted space, or where that tall vertical shape is needed for its dramatic appearance. The Italian Cypress is the perfect choice for this if you live in warmer areas of America. If your house is close to your lot-line, you need something tall and narrow to make a screen in such a small space, and the Italian Cypress is the best solution for this problem. It will form a narrow hedge or screen without needing to be constantly clipped and so is an excellent low-maintenance screening solution. It can be left un-clipped and will still not become too broad, as so many other evergreen screening plants will, or it can be clipped to make it even denser and narrower. The foliage is a beautiful mid-green when young and a deep, rich green when mature, making a perfect back-drop for more colourful shrubs and plants. As a specimen it makes a dramatic statement in your garden, singly, or planted in pairs close to an entrance without becoming too wide and blocking access in the future.
A young Italian Cypress will grow up to 3 feet a year, slowing as it matures. So your plants will quickly establish themselves and build the screen you want. When young your Italian Cypress should be fertilized and watered for maximum growth and to establish strong, sturdy plants that will grow to be hardy and healthy. After a couple of years at most, your Italian Cypress will handle conditions such as drought easily. During very severe hot, dry spells provide some water if possible. This will also help prevent damage from mites, which is the only pest that could be seen on this tree and also to protect your tree against cypress canker. They are usually deer resistant, and even fire resistant, making it a good choice if you live in an area prone to fire.
The Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is native to countries in the Western Mediterranean like Greece, Turkey, Israel and Lebanon. It has also been cultivated in other countries, particularly Italy, for centuries, which is why it is called the Italian Cypress. It is naturally upright and narrow, and the garden-form normally grown is even narrower than wild plants, which emphasizes the natural beauty of this tree. It is a close relative of the Monterey cypress, (Cupressus macrocarpa), which is a native tree in South-Western states.
A mature Italian Cypress can reach over 100 feet tall and live quite literally for several thousand years. There are trees in Iran 4,000 years old, making this tree one of the longest living trees there is. The more normal mature height is 40 to 50 feet and an Italian Cypress is usually only a tenth of its height wide, making a 50 foot tree just 5 feet wide. The foliage is held on the lowest parts of the tree for many years, but a trunk with dark-brown, stringy bark will eventually develop. The leaves are scale-like, not spiny, making this tree pleasant to handle and they are of course evergreen, so they screen well all year round. The cones take two years to mature and are attractive, round balls about 1½ inches across.
The Italian Cypress grows in zones 7 to 11, making it a great choice for warm to hot areas of the country. Being drought resistant it is especially suitable for hot, dry areas, like California, much of New Mexico and southern Texas, but it will also grow in Florida and the Deep South. It will grow in all types of soil, from sand to clay, and needs no fertilizer once established. It is drought tolerant but when younger should be watered during extended dry periods and also in winter if the weather is warm and drying.
Italian Cypress has been specially selected to find the best forms which will grow very upright, closely-foliaged and narrow. So it must be produced directly from trees absolutely known to have these ideal characteristics. Our trees are grown the correct way, from branch cuttings of these special trees. That way every tree is identical to the original so they will produce a very uniform effect when planted in a row. However these take longer to produce, so avoid cheaper, seedling trees that will only be a disappointment.
For a screen or hedge Italian Cypress should be planted 3 to 5 feet apart, depending on the density needed. Dig a hole or a trench two or three times wider than the pots, but no deeper. If your soil is very hard you can break up the soil a little in the bottom of the trench. Space out your plants, replace most of the soil and firm it well down. Fill the trench with water and when it has drained away replace the rest of the soil.
Italian Cypress does best in a sunny location but will take some light shade too. It can be clipped regularly if wanted; the top can be cut off if it grows taller than you want, but do not cut hard back as it will not re-sprout from areas that have no foliage on them.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.